D-Lab WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene)

D-Lab is partnering with Civil Engineering professor Maureen Kinyua to offer D-Lab WASH. The class applies D-Lab design thinking to Water, Sanitation, and Health problems in developing countries.

This course provides students fundamental knowledge on designing, operating, and maintaining appropriate technologies for control of environmental pollutants found in developing regions and smaller communities in North America.

Topics draw from engineering areas (water, waste and wastewater treatment, water supply etc.), public health (water and air quality) and social science (gender disparity, mixed methods etc.).

Understanding the importance of the inter-relationship between engineering, public health and social science will serve to develop the globally competency of graduate students as they design and implement environmentally, socially and economically sustainable technologies.



Scroll to view D-Lab WASH Spring 2019 Projects!

Maureen Kinyua is a professor in UC Davis's Civil and Environmental Engineering department, with research emphasis in biological wastewater treatment, waste to energy, and developing world systems and global health. She has many publications in peer-reviewed journals such as the Chemical Engineering Journal and Environmental Engineering Science. She is a UC Davis Advance CAMPOS Faculty Scholar and has been awarded the AAEES W. Wesley Eckenfelder Graduate Research Award. Maureen received her Ph.D.  in Environmental Engineering at University of South Florida and has completed postdoctoral research at Colombia University.


  • Food Cooperative Implementation - Monteverde, Costa Rica

Monteverde is a major hub for ecotourism in Costa Rica. Not only does it attract many tourists, but it is also home to a small community who prides themselves on being sustainable and protecting the unique ecosystem that surrounds them. The Monteverde community plans to address this concern by establishing a farmers cooperative for the community. Currently a local farmer’s market is operated out of a school gym on Saturday mornings. However, it was noted by the client this type of operation could become much larger and a major source food for not only the local community but also the hotels, restaurants, and possibly tourists.  This study was broken into four parts in order to provide sufficient information regarding the environmental, social, technical, and economic components necessary to implement this cooperative.  Project Report         Project Presentation

  • Planning Manual For Sizing Rainwater Catchment - Constanza, Dominican Republic

Rainwater harvesting systems are highly modular and encompass a myriad of configurations. Rainwater systems are usually categorized as dry or wet. A dry system is one which the overhead conveyance system is dry between rains while a wet system is one which the underground pipes remain filled continuously. The purpose of this report is to serve as a guide for the planning of dry, decentralized, rainwater catchment systems that can serve as a potable water supplement for individual households. Project Report

  • Student Mall Sanitation Block at the University of Abomey- Calavi, Benin

The University of Abomey-Calavi (UAC) Student Mall is currently in need of a sanitation resource. Dr. Charlene Gaba, a researcher at UAC, requested a study on the feasibility of installing a sustainable sanitation block (i.e. restroom) in the mall. She requested that the sanitation block utilize solar power, touchless sinks and toilets, and a rainwater catchment system for water supply. The following report assesses the feasibility of installing a sanitation block meeting these requirements and serving approximately 500 users per day. Project Report           Project Presentation